Sorry to be intrusive, but Texas Covid counts have gone up dramatically, especially in Houston. I think we need to get ready for a BA.2 visit sooner than anticipated in Texas at least. Go to the beauty parlor and get your nails done — and get a vaccination if it’s time. The Marshall/Harrison County Health Dept phone is 903 9385 8338. This variant allegedly will not be as hard on the hospitals as the others have been, at least for adults. Children?
1. Italian Study Shows Ventilation Can Cut School COVID Cases by 82% (Reuters) An Italian study published on Tuesday suggests that efficient ventilation systems can reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in schools by more than 80%. An experiment overseen by the Hume foundation think-tank compared coronavirus contagion in 10,441 classrooms in Italy’s central Marche region. COVID infections were steeply lower in the 316 classrooms that had mechanical ventilation systems, with the reduction in cases more marked according to the strength of the systems.
2. Moderna to Ask FDA to Authorize Covid-19 Vaccine in Children 6 Months to 6 Years (STAT News) Moderna announced that it will ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in children aged 6 months to 6 years, a group for which there are currently no authorized Covid vaccines. The company’s announcement came as it released interim data from two clinical trials of its vaccine in children under 6 years of age. Moderna said the studies — in children aged 6 months to 23 months and 2 years to 6 years — showed the vaccine generated similar immune responses as those seen in adults aged 18 to 25 who received two doses of Moderna’s adult Covid vaccine.
NOTE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST 24 MARCH RE. COVAX
A program to ensure global vaccine equity was doomed from the beginning to fall short, a Washington Post analysis found. The initiative, called Covax, was meant to convince wealthy and poor countries to combine their money to order vaccine doses in advance and then share them in a way that would protect the most vulnerable people first. But the program’s supporters underestimated the desperation of the wealthier countries, which snatched up doses from manufacturers for their own residents. Covax was also slow to adapt as nations declined to participate. Now, more than one-third of the world has not received a vaccine dose — a result that not only is inequitable, but also makes it easier for new variants to emerge.
W.H.O. says the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron is driving most cases around the world.
”…Globally, BA.2 made up about 86 percent of cases reported to the W.H.O. between Feb. 16 and March 17, the agency said in a report on Tuesday. The previously dominant subvariants, BA.1 and BA.1.1, together represented about 13 percent of the cases…..Scientists suspect that BA.2’s rapid growth is thanks to its unique mutations. In the gene for the spike protein on the surface of the virus, BA.2 has eight mutations not found in BA.1..a senior W.H.O. official in Europe said that cases have surged in the region because the authorities were too quick to relax pandemic restrictions….”
NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE (NEJM)
1. Safety and Efficacy of a Third Dose of BNT162b2 Covid-19 Vaccine
A third dose of the BNT162b2[ PRIZER] vaccine administered a median of 10.8 months after the second dose provided 95.3% efficacy against Covid-19 as compared with two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine during a median follow-up of 2.5 months.”
(J. Harris: OK, now let’s try the 4th jab.)
2. Neutralization Profile after Recovery from SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Infection
”Despite certain limitations of this study, including the small sample size and retrospective study design (Table S7), our data support the hypothesis that the omicron BA.1 variant is an extremely potent immune-escape variant that shows little cross-reactivity with the earlier variants. Therefore, unvaccinated persons who are infected with the omicron BA.1 variant only (without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection) might not be sufficiently protected against infection with a SARS-CoV-2 variant other than omicron BA.1; for full protection, vaccination is warranted.”
(J. Harris: In other words, you would be better off if you get regular vaccinations for Covid even if you think or know you have had Covid earlier. All the strains are a little different from the last.)
MY ALL TIME FAVORITE FROM LEWIS GRIZZARD:
” Elvis is dead and I don’t feel so good for myself.”
(The Elvis statement is also the title of Grizzard’s last book, and his least funny; he wrote it as he was dying of heart disease.)
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